Taper-tailed Darner Gomphaeschna antilope (Hagen, 1874)S2 (State rare)  

Status:

Taper-tailed Darner (Gomphaeschna antilope) is a small species of darner, generally very similar to Harlequin Darner (Gomphaeschna furcillata), but usually duller in coloration, and less common. This enigmatic dragonfly breeds in bogs or swamps, and is mostly restricted to the Coastal Plain. Taper-tailed can also be found foraging away from the breeding habitat. Like Harlequin Darner, this species often perches on tree trunks or other vertical surfaces (Paulson, 2011). Gomphaeschna antilope is rare in Maryland, and is ranked as S2 (state rare). It is known from a handful of coastal plain counties, and is considered historic in the District of Columbia (Richard Orr's The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Maryland and the District of Columbia).

Description:

The cerci of Harlequin are set farther apart at the base, forming a horseshoe-shape from above, and they curve downwards in lateral view. Cerci of Taper-tailed male view dorsally are closer to parallel, and long. In lateral view, they appear straighter than Harlequin. There are also consistent wing venation differences visible in the hand (Paulson, 2011).

There are 19 records in the project database.

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A Taper-tailed Darner in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/16/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Taper-tailed Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/3/2012). Rare in Maryland (S2). Posed. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Taper-tailed Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/3/2012). Rare in Maryland (S2). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A female Taper-tailed Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/8/2015). Photo by Richard Orr. (MBP list)

A Taper-tailed Darner in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/31/2011). Photo by Mike Burchett. (MBP list)

A female Taper-tailed Darner in Baltimore Co., Maryland (6/29/2017). Verified by John S. Ascher/BugGuide. Photo by Pauline Horn. (MBP list)

A Taper-tailed Darner in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/3/2012). In situ. Rare in Maryland (S2). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


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